As JMI reaches its third birthday, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the excellent contribution it has made to the music scene in Ireland. As a performer, composer and promoter of new music in Ireland for the past fifteen years I am very familar with the problems which confront most musicians here. One of the negative factors has been the lack of effective platforms to articulate vital issues concerning music in Ireland. In no uncertain way, JMI has helped filled this gap. The format of covering traditional, jazz and contemporary music means that we can all be much more informed of the broader issues regardless of our particular speciality.
On a personal note may I say how much I have enjoyed all the articles which have been published. In the majority of cases they have been extremely interesting, detailed, thought-provoking and very well articulated. They have afforded us the opportunity to enter into open debate, to counter argue, to probe issues which might have been taken for granted, in short, to develop and maintain a very high level of intellectual scrutiny and correspondence which is one of the central requirements for a healthy, democratic and lively society. Given our political history, this is surely something to be proud and protective of. With this in mind I was surprised and saddened by the level of personal vitriol let loose in the ’Letters’ pages of the last edition. When contributors who are evidently capable of presenting strong, articulate arguments opt for personal attack they have
not only let themselves down but have closed the door on healthy debate.
Mostly Modern Series & VOX21 ensemble
Published on 1 November 2003
Benjamin Dwyer is a guitarist and composer. He is Director & Artistic Director of MUSIC21 (formally Mostly Modern), the Remembering Ligeti festival, and the new music ensemble VOX21. He is a member of Aosdána.